Some of the popular designs we feature on Chocovenyl are from an artist known only as Mister Mista. He brings us a strange and kooky world of floating eyeballs, gorgeous retro cars and spooky alphabets.
But what kind of a mind could have created such odd and wonderful designs?
Well, Mister Mista has nothing to do with the 80’s pop group with the same sounding name – remember ‘Broken Wings’?
No, it is the name of the company set-up in 2007 by a top Australian designer called Travis Price. As a freelance designer he has worked for a host of big name clients such as Mambo, Sony, Vodafone and Intel.
It was during his childhood in Victoria that his love of skateboarding and graffiti developed into a passion for cool designs. Despite now being one of Australia’s most renowned designers, he can still be seen whizzing around the streets of Victoria on his skateboard.
He set-up Mister Mista with his wife Renee; shortly after the couple had their first child. The idea was to create a quirky and off-beat range of designs which were especially for kids – not adult designs which have been scaled down. Travis provides the artistic vision for Mister Mista while Renee handles the business side of things.
How did you find your way into illustration as a career?
I guess like most I grew up as a kid loving to draw. But once finishing high school it made sense to go off to uni to become a graphic designer. I quite enjoyed it but after 10 years in the design industry I decided to make the switch to become a freelance illustrator. Five years on I couldn’t be happier…I love it. Technically design gave me the perfect tools and experience to make a smooth cross over.
What inspires you?
Ohhhh this is hard…..If you look at my commercial folio you’ll see a few styles running through there. I’m inspired by a diverse range of things.In regards to kids I love Richard Scarry and Asterix. I also love the old fairy tales that always had that sense of scary evil darkness to them…sadly I think that missing now.I have always been inspired by skateboard design….especially the 90’s with guys like Jim Phillips. Really enjoy the hotrod illustration scene too.I love all things retro……my secret is House Industries
Saying all that, when it comes to Mister Mista…our kids have been our inspiration. Our products are normally themed around what they’re into.
What is Mister Mista brand about?
At its inception we just felt that the boys sector was missing that gritty silly boy fun. It was missing that kookiness that boys bring to any family. Boys weren’t made to match your decor….they’re into dirty pirate ships…not preppy nautical sailing vessels!!! This is what we are about.
What is your favourite subject matter to draw?
I love character design. As you see all our products are based around characters. True character creation should exude a sense of personality!!! I also like for characters to have imperfections too.
How was your bedroom decorated when you were a child?
Ha Ha it was mainly the 80’s…chinese style puma doona cover (to protect me from monsters). Sesame street sheets. Early Micheal Jackson and Star Wars posters along with pristine tonka toys….never left in the sand pit!!! Oh and Castle Grey Skull was in the corner!!! Really it was a mismatch…but it was awesome…..I love that interior design seems to be heading back to a more eclectic aesthetic.
What are your fondest memories from childhood?
Going to see ET at the drive in theatre. Got to stay up late in our pyjamas, wrapped in blankets in the back of a little orange Datsun. Think I may have cried at the end.
Will your designs find their way onto your child’s walls?
Ha Ha yeah there’s a few of my designs scattered through out the house but we have pictures all through the house by different artists. We love the idea of being surrounded by illustration and the kids love it. You can buy so many great prints from illustrators over the internet. My favourite is some Nate Wragg prints.
Vintage prints we own.
Where can reader’s find your work?
Keep your eyes peeled for more work from the odd and wonderful world of Mister Mista – that’s if Travis can find time between his young family and skateboarding.